Penguin 2.0: Google Softens on Panda Smack?

Penguin 2.0: Google Softens on Panda Smack?

[UPDATE: Just learned that Google has rolled out Penguin 2.0 even while this post was being written! Read Matt Cutt's post announcing the release and from the comments on that post, it's clear that Google indeed has soften it's punches. So far, it does appear that not too many sites have been hit by Penguin 2.0 but we still have to wait for the results ro come in. For now Matt said only about 2.3% of English queries have been noticeably impacted by Penguin 2.0]

Since the year 2011 when Google came out hard on blackhat SEOs with the introduction of Google Panda and later Google Penguin updates, content marketers in particular and web entrepreneurs in general, have always been on the edge in anticipation of what Google is going to bring up next!

This was definitely the case when a few days ago Matt Cutt (I'm sure many SEOs now dread that name!:) ) gave an insight into what to expect from the stables of Google in the coming days.

In the Video Matt hinted on Google “softening” the impact of Panda on some of the sites that got hit in previous updates because, according to him, some of these sites  were really not true black hat sites!

Good to hear indeed, but not really enough to celebrate about because there is more to come! Watch the video right now and you'll understand that Google is not yet done with cleaning up the system!

Recommended: Google’s Content Farmer/Panda Algorithm Change: What You Can Do To Stay Afloat!

[youtube]Ok, here's a run down of the points you need to note from the video:

  • Penguin Updates

Google will continue to tweak their penguin updates starting with a big change expected to go live in the next few weeks.  This update is supposed to have an even bigger impact than the original penguin update.  Naturally, this will make some people happy and others angry, but it really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

  • Advertorials

Sites using advertorials to attempt to inflate their overall link profile were penalized earlier this year.  Even more action against this type of link building is going to be coming out later this year.

Recommended: The Watertight Strategy for effectively Writing Content for SEO in A Post-Penguin Internet!

  • Spam Queries

Some keywords tend to attract black hat techniques more than others.  Terms like payday loans, for example, are flooded with hundreds of low quality sites.  Due to requests from outside of Google, these types of terms are going to be getting the attention of Matt’s spam team.

  • Upstream Targets

Link builders have been using layered ‘networks’ to avoid getting punished by Google for their unnatural link building.  Google is going to start looking upstream at where the links are coming from and punishing those who are building unnatural link networks.

  • More Sophisticated Link Analysis

This point was perhaps the most interesting of all of them.  Google claims they will be creating a more sophisticated profile of each site’s back links and where they are coming from.  This more detailed analysis will undoubtedly help them find black hat SEO strategies and penalize them as well.

  • Hacked Sites

Google will be implementing improvements on warning users of potentially hacked sites as well as notifying the webmaster so corrective action can be taken.

  • Authority Sites

It is no surprise to anyone that Google loves authority sites, and Matt made it a point to say that they will continue to give ranking boosts to authority sites.

Recommended: With the Many Algorithm Changes by Google, Are You Still Keen On Doing SEO?

  • Panda Smack

Google acknowledged that some of the sites which were hurt by the panda updates were really not true black hat sites and they will be working to ‘soften’ the impact this update had on some of these sites.

  • Multiple of Same Domain in SERP

In an attempt to diversify the results on the first page of results Google is going to reduce the number of pages from the same domain that are displayed.

  • Webmaster Communication

Finally, Matt once again expressed his desire to have more open communication with webmasters so everyone can get the rankings they deserve.

Over to you: Have you noticed any change in your rankings? Is Penguin 2.0 a favor to you or a disaster? Do you think Google is playing it too hard on search engine optimization with these constant updates?

  1. Hey Chadrack,

    I’ve been reading a lot about this lately and know that this will be an ongoing thing now with Google and their updates. I’ve seen Matt’s video and of course in the beginning he said if you’re here providing content and wanting visitors to come back time after time then we want to work with you to accomplish this as well.

    I want to say something about that but I’ll be nice because I got slapped the last time and that’s exactly what I do with no underhanded anything happening on my blog. That’s why I have a nasty taste in my mouth when it comes to Google and these updates. I’m sick of the “little guy” getting caught in their crossfires.

    I still haven’t gotten all my traffic back from the last slap but I also had another issue this past month that we’re still trying to figure out how that happened but Google was indexing my pages so I know that has something to do with that. Won’t be able to tell until I start recuperating from that particular issue.

    Either way I try not to let this worry me too much. I mean search engine traffic is important but I’m not going to let this bother me anymore if Google does their thing once again.

    Thanks for the updates though.


    • @Adrienne,

      I can understand your position here. Even Matt acknowledged this in the video. This is one of the reasons why in the new update it’s more about link building (webspam) rather than content (panda). They realized that the panda update affected a whole lot of innocent people while most content farms were minimally affected.

      Indeed, it is clear that Google is using programs that could also make “mistakes” but for me I think Google is really trying in its bid to rid the internet of webspam. There is so much of it out there that, if not for Google’s efforts, we don’t know where we would have been right now.

      It’s really said that you were hit in the last update. But since you’re very sure that the problem is not from your end, it will be a good thing to look into the sites that are linking to you. One big thing that Google is taking into consideration right now is “relevancy.” If there is too much links from un-related sites, Google could interpret that to be a “manipulative” attempt on the side of a webmaster.

      I’ve always noticed that any time Google releases a new update, my blog gets a little push up the SERPs! Well, I’m still waiting to see what will come out of this latest update.

      Thanks for the comment.

  2. Hey Chadrack thanks for the video and the post. I’ve also been reading as much as I can about mainly recovering from Penguin and I’ve spent months trying to get backlinks removed and creating more natural authoritative links in the process. I know it’s early days as everybody keeps stating but I’ve already seen yet another drop in search engine traffic from this latest update. Like Adrienne and I think many other bloggers I’m going to stop worrying about traffic from Google and concentrate more on other sources.

    • @Fabrizio,

      Frankly, whenever I hear of bloggers getting hit by these updates, questions always go through my mind. Where is the problem really coming from? Is it that Google is messing up some where or the problem is from the blogger? This is because bloggers are actually those who create original and fresh content all the time.

      But then, we must make the distinction between Google’s war against content farms (Panda) and the war against webspam (Penguin). Though webspam cover a whole lot of things the most prominent is linkspam. And so, in this latest release (Penguin 2.0) while Google is admitting some flaws in the earlier Panda updates (that is the reason for relaxing the panda smack!), which affected some genuine content publishers, the Penguin update is targeting link building tactics that are not “natural.”

      it is expected that links should be natural since they are regarded as “votes” of confidence from other webmasters. But where such links, from all indications shows they are not so, then Google’s Penguin hammer will definitely fall.

      So, my reasoning (I may be wrong on this) is that bloggers who are hit by the updates may be having this problem of “un-natural” links. This is why in my response to Adrienne above I mentioned her checking the links to her blog and also links from her blog. If you are also having the problem of being hit by the updates, looking into this area is necessary.

      About looking into other areas for traffic apart from Google, of course that is a good thing. There are a 101 other traffic sources we must explore. But one thing that is still sure is that search engines are still the most valuable traffic sources any day any time. Getting traffic from Google is not really about Google but search engine traffic. So, overlooking Google entirely is not a good decision. I’ve found this to be true especially as a blogger. We could have traffic from other bloggers who visit our blogs, post comments, connect with us and do other things, but the fact is that most times, this type of traffic is not really “valuable!” You can read a post I did on this sometime ago:

      Thanks for the valuable comment.

  3. And soon we all have to prepare for Penguin2.0 as well… and honestly, I don’t expect too much good…I’m not a kind of optimist like you, sorry

    • @Karina,

      Well, Penguin 2.0 is already here and we don’t have to prepared for it now! If you have not done what is right before now, you definitely will be hit. That is ugly truth! We all don’t have to be on the same page on this, but one time that is sure is that Google is doing a good thing for the web. Cleaning up the webspace is helping us to get more useful content right now. A few years ago, a whole lot of programs were released into the market which does nothing but scrap the internet for content and then post those content online for all of us. Most times when you use the search engines the type of content you are presented with makes one really angry. But all that is changing now.

      I believe what we need is co-operate with Google on this or don’t you think so?

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